(Photo credit: Hurriyet)
Syria made a statement on 28 January rejecting the report issued a day earlier by the Investigation and Identification Team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), regarding the alleged use of chlorine by the Damascus government in Douma in 2018.
“Syria totally rejects the report released by the so-called ‘Investigation and Identification Team’ of the [OPCW] about the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018, in addition to its conclusions,” the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said.
“Those who prepared this report … insist to ignore all the objective information which was provided by some countries, parties, experts, academics, documented media reports, and former OPCW inspectors with knowledge and expertise … which confirmed beyond any doubt that the Douma incident was completely fabricated,” the ministry’s statement added.
The Syrian statement was a response to the new report released by the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team on 27 January, which after five years, has renewed the accusation against Damascus “that the Syrian Arab Air Force carried out the chemical weapons attack on Douma.”
In April of 2018, Damascus was accused of a chemical attack against civilians in the city of Douma, resulting in illegal US military strikes against Syrian government positions. This was despite the fact that Syria had welcomed an OPCW fact-finding mission to inspect the alleged site of the attack.
A year later, WikiLeaks revealed that the OPCW had suppressed the initial results of the fact-finding mission deployed to Syria, results which suggested that the incident was, in fact, staged. That same year, a MintPress News report revealed that several journalists from a number of mainstream agencies had come to the conclusion that the Douma attack was staged with the help of the White Helmets, a criminal organization posing as the Syrian Civil Defense. This was initially brought to light by a whistleblower from within the OPCW.
In 2021, during a visit to Douma, The Grayzone reporter Aaron Mate referred to the 2018 incident as “one of the biggest pro-war hoaxes since Iraq.”
Since 2013, armed groups in Syria have attempted to pin chemical attacks on the government in attempts to instigate internationally-led regime change operations against it. This comes in the form of staged attacks, or actual false-flag chemical attacks which leave many dead and are designed to implicate Damascus – as was the case in Ghouta in 2013 and in Khan Sheikhoun in 2017.
The latest OPCW report comes as Washington is desperately trying to obstruct the reconciliation process currently underway between the Syrian and Turkish governments.